We are almost at the promise lan...oh wait there's 7 more parts before the finale, but hey Mr. Bon Jovi said himself that we are half way there (well, when you get to the end of this section)! 7 parts in, and after this 7 to go. Let do this thing!
Here's How The Rules Go Down:
1.) 14 Lists of 25 albums a piece, counting down from 350 to 1.
2.) No more than one album per project, otherwise this list would be in the 1,000s.
3.) This list is as close of order as I could get it and be somewhat happy. If I overthink it, I could easily rewrite this whole list in a new order over and over again. Right now, I'm happy with it enough to write it down for the world to see.
4.) If there is an album/band/artist missing from this list that doesn't fit the criteria above (mainly number 2) it is because I either didn't hear it enough, didn't like it as much, it's too new to me to be fair to add to the list, or it just isn't my bag...baby!
5.) My list isn't your list. Your favorite band might not be on here, it might be too low for you, a band you hate might be too high for you. Just remember, it's just my opinion.
6.) The goal of this gigantic list is to show off my roots, what I love in the past, and now, and most importantly, to show YOU something that you may not be familiar with that you may enjoy. If you can't find something to enjoy within these 350 albums, we are just not going to click musically. Different Strokes...
7.) Yes, I enjoy every single album here. Every album I can enjoy front to back, not wanting to skip a track. Not a single album on here is just thrown in to fill out the list, nor is there a single album that I feel is weak. To me, it's all killer and no filler.
So...Let's get it on!
200.) 30 Seconds to Mars- A Beautiful Lie (2005)
FFO- Space Rock, Alternative Rock, Progressive Rock
I don't think it's hyperbole to say that the first two 30STM albums are two of the finest rock albums of the early 2000s. Everything that came after though.....but hey, let's focus on the good shall we! Wile my heart actually be more in the self titled album, I can't deny that A Beautiful Lie is the better album overall. It's the perfect blend of what made the band stand out on the self titled album and mixing in just enough mainstream appeal to grab everyone else's attention. Obviously The Kill and the title track became radio staples even to this day, but for the older fans, songs like Attack make you so happy to hear that great blend of rock, metal and prog being on an album that garners so much attention. Overall, a fantastic album that made, but also broke(?) the band. Gues that's all personal opinion. But again, the first two albums are brilliant and worthy of your time.
199.) Moron Police- Defenders of The Small Yard (2014)
FFO- Alternative Metal, Progressive Rock, Comedy
The album has a song called T-Bag Your Grandma, and if you didn't already know what that term is, they describe it in the chorus. If that doesn't tell you all you need to know about the band, I'm not sure what else could. This band does not take themselves seriously in the slightest, but actually, they do enough to make seriously killer songs with great production and a vibe that tells you not to take life so seriously. This is a band that Frank Zappa would love if he was around in the 2010s. Get off your high horse and t-bag...I mean check out this band!
198.) Pyramaze- Immortal (2008)
FFO- Symphonic Progressive Power Metal
Matt Barlow has the power to make any band better that he sings in. It seemed almost impossible at the time that Pyramaze could get any better vocally, than Barlow came into the band with Immortal and put those thoughts to bed. Pyramaze itself is a band of wonder that really fills the void in all symphonic, power, and prog metal bands that mixing the genres could feel foolish. So why not make it all as epic as it can possibly be? You get that with every Pyramaze, but I have to give it to Immortal on this one. Though every album is killer, You just can't beat Matt Barlow singing this style...you just can't...
197.) Suspiria- Attitude (2009)
FFO- Thrash Metal, Heavy Metal Bits of Black Metal
Easily the best Suspiria album. It just combined the attitude (no pun intended), power, and songwriting the band has been trying to achieve up to this point and absolutely nailed it. Rising up from it's black metal roots and slowly evolving into what they became. Hell, even Chuck Billy and Shagrath make guest vocal appearances on this album, if that says anything at all. A true gem of an album that you should check out.
196.) Pantera- The Great Southern Trendkill (1996)
FFO- Groove Metal, Thrash Metal
The Penultimate album from this legendary band is the angriest, darkest, and my personal favorite album the band has ever done. This is true emotion on this album and those emotions are anger and sorrow. The band was in turmoil at this point for various reasons, and musically, you can hear it. But I mean that in a great way as when you have nothing left to lose, you show who you really are. TGST is that in a nutshell. PLUS, Floods is one of the greatest songs ever made (and Dimebag's best solo & and riff ever *you know the riff...the ending riff* are in this song). Even if you are not a big Pantera fan or you overlooked this album because Cowboys nor Walk are on it, go back and give this album the proper credit it deserves.
195.) Kalmah- Seventh Swamphany (2013)
FFO- Symphonic Death Metal, Power Metal
Kalmah is an example of why Finland, per capita, is the best country for metal. So many great, legendary bands are from here that really paved the way for what metal can be. Kalmah is an example of such a band, pushing the boundaries of symphonic death metal and power metal to it's extremes. 2013's Seventh Swamphany (as you may have guessed, their 7th album) continues that trek going even further in their sound and just becoming an even great band in the process. A seriously overlooked band in the grand scheme of things, that deserves all the love you can give. This album is a great starting point!
194.) Dying Fetus- Wrong One To Fuck With (2017)
FFO- Death Metal, Grindcore, Goregrind
The title alone should let you know how intense of an album this band put out in 2017. Featuring the band's best songwriting, production (that production though...) and musical boundary pushing is something that still amazes me two years later. This is what intense bands inspired by Dying Fetus should strive to achive (but, you know, in their own way). This is a death metal/goregrind, grindcore band that is hard top!
193.) Ramallah- Kill A Celebrity (2005)
FFO- Heavy Hardcore
Man, does this album hold up even more 14 years later than it did in 2005. No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, or the world in general this album harbors all the hatred in you have in the world and spells it out right in front of you. From celebrity worship to the state of the world and just life in general; Ramallah just nailed those feeling amongst the heavy hardcore that is backing it up. It's short, sweet and killer. Give it a go!
192.) Iron Maiden- Dance Of Death (2003)
Oh boy, I'm waiting for the replies and comments abut this one. My justification? A few things. First it was my first true introduction to the band outside the singles. Second, It's Bruce Dickinson and Co. reforming and getting back to what made them great after first getting back together on Brave New World. This feels like one of the most consistent yet boundary pushing Maiden albums ever. While almost all of the slack on this album goes towards the album cover...if you just listen to the music involved, you'll understand where I am coming from in saying this could be the best Maiden album and it is, for sure, my favorite.
191.) Hypocrisy- The Arrival (2004)
FFO- Melodic Death Metal
Hypocrisy has never put out a bad album and I don't think Peter Tagtgren is capable of putting out anything other than brilliant. With The Arrival, the world really started to take notice of the band and show off their true brilliance of melodeath songwriting. This is melodeath done right. Plus if you're not sold on the album Dan Swano wrote half of the album lyrically! Ok, not enough?....ALIENS! *there, that should seal the deal*
190.) Eluveitie- Spirit (2006)
FFO- Folk Metal
This is how you make folk metal. While other band try to be more fun with it, or take it into different directions; Eluveitie perfected it on their sophomore album and on their most recent album, Ategnatos, they brought it back to the roots of the band and made you remember what made the first two Eluveitie albums so perfect. Spirit takes the debut album and perfects and tweaks anything that was missing. Such a fantastic mix of folk, black metal, death metal, melody, and traditional songwriting. You truly need to listen!
189.) Junius- The Martyrdom Of A Catastophist (2009)
FFO- Post Metal, Art Rock, Experimental
Seeing this band open for Enslaved and Alcest (yeah, that tour ruled!) was a sight to see. Junius is a band that truly looks at music as an art form and wants to present it in all the ways that it can. While mainly focusing on the darkest aspects and horror of life, the band creates such a surreal atmosphere that can't be topped. As heavy as it gets, as dark as it gets, it never feels too metal or too boundary pushing. It perfectly fits for the mood and this album, in particular is a true, crowning achievement of that. The band can do no wrong.
188.) Protest The Hero- Kezia (2005)
FFO- Mathcore, Progressive Metal
While many, Many, MANY will disagree with me on this one (saying the follow up, Fortress is the band's best album) Kezia is the album for me. It's raw, unadulterated, and fantastic concept album. While, sure, the band perfected it's sound on later albums and you can even say the band gets better from here on out, this album is where it truly began for the band and you see them at their most primal and experimental, trying to find what works and what doesn't. In part of another great Canadian band, there is All Killer, No Filler on Kezia, and it will always be my favorite.
187.) Cattle Decapitation- The Anthropocene Extinction (2015)
FFO- Grindcore, Death Metal, Progressive Metal
Pretty much the exact opposite of the review above, Cattle Decapitation just gets more and more up my alley with every release and the fact that they did add progressive metal elements and clean vocals (strapping young lad style cleans/screams) only makes the band more boundary pushing and what I want out of music like this. As brutal as it absolutely gets, the brief moments of clarity on the album make the album stand out so much more and I can only hope that is even more expanded upon with the next album. For my prog nerd fans, this would be a great introduction into the dark side of metal with the prog elements shown off here, you just may get converted.
186.) ICS Vortex- Storm Seeker (2011)
FFO- Progressive Metal, Black Metal (without the black metal vocals)
SO far, this is the only solo album from this mastermind to date. And I hope that another solo album comes together at some point because this album is so brilliant and dangerously underrated. I have, for years, been trying to figure out the best way to describe this album and I think I finally got something. If Frank Zappa discovered Emperor's Prometheus album and Opeth's My Arms, Your Hearse album at the same time, and wanting to combine both albums...but make it with his signature quirk. Yeah the album is as abstract and (WTF did i I just read?) as it sounds, but seriously, give it a shot. Absolutely worth it, plus ICS Vortex has one of the best voices in Metal.
185.) Candiria- While They Were Sleeping (2016)
FFO- Math Metal, Progressive Metal, Jazz Metal
This band has had ups and down the world has never seen and in some aspects, should never have to go through. Thankfully, a few years back, the band came back for a brand new album and it is by far the freshest album of this style (if not in the band's history). The music takes their abstract styles of jazz prog and math metal and makes it into purely a sense of controlled chaos that I'm not sure any other band could pull off. I discover more on this album the more I listen to it, and that is truly the sense of a great album in this style. While the intent of this album as to start off a trilogy of albums about the concept going on in said album; I hope it comes to fruition, I NEED this side of Candiria back as often as possible!
184.) maudlin of the Well- Leaving Your Body Map
FFO- Avant Garde, Progressive Metal
To put it as simple as I can (which is hard in this case). If you like Kayo Dot, but want it more focused on prog and metal (most of the time); motW is the band for you. Leaving Your Mody Map might be the heaviest album overall between both bands and it is a completely bonkers albums (so right in line with every album between both bands). Look, my words here can only do so much. It's a very avant garde album and if that's up your alley and you haven't discovered maudlin of the Well yet, you found your new obsession.
183.) Converge- Jane Doe (2001)
FFO- Metalcore, Post Hardcore, Mathcore
Regarded as one of the best albums of it's genre, Jane Doe is the perfect example (lyrically) of your mind being so overwhelmed that it can destroy you and everyone around you (family, friends, relationships, etc). A great statement of mental health, really. Plus the title track is probably the greatest song ever made in metalcore (I'll go on record saying that). This is the definitive Metalcore (in the original sense before New Wave Of American Heavy Metal took over the metalcore genre) album. Listen and find out why!
182.) Exodus- Tempo Of The Damned (2004)
FFO- Thrash Metal
One of the greatest things about Exodus is that no matter what era of Exodus you enjoy, it does not suck! Every single release has it's own flavor, yet sounds exactly like Exodus. Much like potato chips, even if you enjoy different flavors, you still know what you are getting. With Tempo of The Damned, it's the perfect post 9/11 album, talking about tragedies, adversities, and pure hatred that comes from that pain; be it from your country or anywhere in the world. Plus the music is absolutely phenomenal. There's a reason why they play as many songs as they do from this album live. A pure highlight from the band!
181.) Judas Priest- Angel of Retribution (2005)
FFO: Every Era of Judas Priest
I am a defender of (the faith) this album and I will never understand why this album is talked about so little. I mean it's the return of Halford into Priest for crying out loud!!! Angel of Retribution is the definition of a best of album of brand new material. Every era you love from the band at the time (well...sans the Ripper albums) are represented to perfection here and it sounds like Priest at it's absolute freshest in the 21st century. I will forever feel this will be the Priest album, even if I am the only one on this hill, I will die on it!
180.) Last Chance To Reason- Level 2 (2011)
FFO- Progressive Metal, Video Games, Tech Death
LCTR is such an underrated band who released 3 brilliant albums (Level 1, Level 2, Level 3) so far and I'm still hoping for Level 4 to be made. Combining progressive metal attributes over video game soundscapes and throw in some jaw dropping tech death spurts and you got Last Chance To Reason! Level 2 feels like the album that has the most variety in sound. Level 1 is the heaviest, Level 3 is the most accessible, Level 2 combines both in a great way. While Michael Lessard has joined The Contortionist as lead vocalist, and the rest of the band has continued different music paths; if we don't get Level 4; Enjoy this video game band as if it's a demo disc for an unreleased game. SO much to enjoy, yet it leaves you wanting so much more.
179.) Destroyer 666- Wildfire (2016)
FFO- Black 'N Roll, Thrash Metal
D666 is a band of controversy, though I side with the band on almost all of it. From a strictly musical aspect, the band covers so much ground of what I love about this style. It can death, thrash, black, and rock n roll into one evil ball and make that a ball of envy to it's peers. The songwriting on this album can go from fast and mid pace hell to some of the most grandiose epic tracks you could ever have; and that completely showcases Wildfire. Wildfire is filled to the brim with both and just fits that void of anger of the world around us. It's a pure evil joy to listen to.
178.) The Black Dahlia Murder- Everblack (2013)
FFO- Melodic Death Metal
This was the right album to come out at the right time for me. It's a culmination of what made TBDM stand out amongst it's peers and to journalists who labeled the band as a metalcore band when they first appeared. Making the melodies even more melodic, making the metal even more metal and just making the band that it could possibly be. Every fan of the band has their favorite album, and while some of my favorite songs from the band are on different albums; but Everblack is the album fro me that I could go back to and put on constant repeat for days on end and ever wanna skip a track even after 20 spins. It's just a masterpiece of an album.
177.) In Vain- Ænigma (2013)
FFO- Progressive Death Metal, Progressive Black Metal
In Vain is another dangerously underrated band who has released 4 absolutely solid albums so far in their run. Their 3rd album, Ænigma is a thing of beauty that shows off the bands melodic side to a perfect T, while making the dark side of the band stand out even more in contrast. These are by far some of the best written songs from the band and they have not let up on their songwriting skills since. Every note has a purpose, no matter what direction it goes in, and it's pure bliss to the ears. Give In Vain your love and attention now!
176.) Bend Sinister- Animals (2014)
FFO: Indie Rock, Progressive Rock
Bend Sinister walks that fine line between Indie Rock and Prog Rock that you can't justifiably call them one genre without the other (though if you ask the band, they are not prog in the slightest). Animals is quite possibly the most heavy album in the band's career, both musically and thematically. It was a bit of a risky move for the band putting out their proggiest song (an 8 minute epic) as the opener to the album, followed by more of the band's signature sound, but it absolutely works and makes the band stand out from it's peers. Animals is a thing of beauty no matter how indie, hipster, hardcore or proggy you think you are. Give it a spin and you'll understand why. And remember...When The World, It Brings You Down. Keep Your Head Up High And Your Feet On The Ground!
And there we go folks, 175 albums down! And we are only now halfway through this baffling ordeal list. But no, seriously, writing this up is giving me the joy that I need in life right now and with every person who is checking out the lists and telling me they have made new discoveries thanks to this list, it makes me feel like I have a purpose in continuing to be That Drummer Guy, so thank you so very much for sticking around so far. TUne In Tomorrow for Part Vii- 175-151!
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)